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Tournament Anagrams Rules (2004)

Two players alternate drawing tiles at random and forming words, earning points for each word.


Setting Up

Determine at random which player plays first. Agree on a minimum length for playable words. Place all 100 tiles face down and shuffle them, forming the reserve. To begin, the pool and tableau are empty. Set the clock to 25 minutes per player. Each player starts with 0 points.


Each turn consists of the following steps, performed in the following order:

  1. Player may challenge the word made by opponent on the previous turn. To do so, s/he neutralizes the clock and has an adjudicator consult a word reference. If the word is acceptable, player loses two points. If the word is unacceptable, opponent undoes his play and loses two points. If the word was improperly formed, e.g., it was too short, or it was an anagram of an old word with no added letters, the challenge is automatically successful.
  2. Player may correct a scoring error made by the opponent on the previous turn. To do so, s/he neutralizes the clock and announces the correct score. If both players agree that an error has been made, opponent corrects his/her score, and player adds the absolute magnitude of the error to his/her own score.
  3. Player turns one of the tiles in the reserve over, and adds it to the pool. If player turns over more than one tile, the clock is neutralised while opponent chooses which tile goes in the pool, the rest being returned to the reserve. Blank tiles are wildcards, whose value may be redesignated each time they are used.
  4. Player may make a word whose length is at least the agreed upon minimum, and move it to the tableau. The letters in the word may be gathered in one of three ways:
    1. by taking them all from the pool;
    2. by taking all of the letters in one word already on the tableau and adding one or more letters from the pool; or
    3. by taking all of the letters from two or more words on the tableau, and adding zero or more letters from the pool.
  5. If player made a word, player announces the score for that word. Each pair of adjacent letters that is present in the new word and was not present in any old word whose letters were used scores one point. If the same pair of adjacent letters appears more times in the new word than it did in old word(s), then score one point for each additional occurrence of that pair. For example, ATTAR+R = TARTAR scores one point each for the RT, the second TA, and the second AR, for a total of three points. Forming TARTAR straight from the pool would score five points, one for each of TA, AR, RT, TA and AR.
  6. Player presses the button on the clock that stops player's clock and start's opponent's clock. Before doing so, player may change his/her mind about which play to make and how much it scored. After hitting the clock, s/he may not do so.

The End

The game ends when the reserve is empty, and each player has completed a turn without making a word. If a player has used more than 25 minutes of clock time, then s/he loses one point per overtime minute or part thereof. The player with the higher final score wins. If the scores are equal, the players tie.